MARE ISLAND — The 25th annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival opens Friday with a guided raptor tour and the annual reception and continues through the weekend.
“The three-day event celebrates the return of over 1 million shorebirds and hundreds of thousands of ducks, geese, hawks, songbirds and even monarch butterflies which migrate through or winter in the San Francisco Bay Area,” Myrna Hayes, co-founder and volunteer manager of the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve for the past 12 years, said in a statement.
Brian Collett, preserve naturalist and a founding member of Mare Island Heritage Trust board, will guide the raptor and birdwatching and natural history walk from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friday on the San Pablo Bay Trail.
The festival had been held in limbo as the dispute between the city and the longtime managers of the Mare Island Heritage Preserve threatened its cancellation. There have been some changes, so it is advised to visit sfbayflywayfestival.com for the full schedule of times and locations.
The reception is from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday with a full no-host bar, live music and a free buffet. A slide show presentation of the nature and history of the Mare Island Preserve will be given by Hayes. It will take place at the Vallejo Veterans Memorial Building, 420 Admiral Callaghan Lane, in Vallejo.
Some of the weekend highlights include guided tours of historical and natural sites, the Family Wildlife Exploration and Birding Expo and a variety of presentations.
Most festival activities are free. Some require advance registration. For more information and directions, call Hayes at 249-9633 or visit the festival’s website.